Whale and the Wolf hit the famous El Mocambo stage in Toronto as part of the Lemmon Stage Discovery Series on November 10, 2021.
Lemmon Stage, founded by live music mavens Lemmon Entertainment, in partnership with El Mocambo is supporting music industry recovery by providing an ongoing professional development platform for emerging artists. Lemmon Stage is the only year-long program at the El Mocambo, presenting live performance opportunities for new talent.
Alberta-based Whale and the Wolf is an independent band with 6 singles charting in the Top 40 for Canadian Active Rock, a Billboard Top 40 placement, 13 months of airplay across 15 stations in different cities, over a million Spotify streams, and 22 unique Canadian cities visited on their last two tours alone. Whale and the Wolf recently teamed up with Grammy-nominated producer Jimmy Mansfield and Paul Rogers to guide them on their rise to the top of the rock game. Armed with a new lineup and a fresh take on the rock genre, Whale and the Wolf’s “hard pop” is already starting to make waves.
In the recently renovated, mirror-lined hallway of the El Mocambo basement, we caught up with the group to talk about what it feels like to have live music back.
“We’re excited to be back in that social environment again, I think that was a pretty hard blow for everyone. We’re excited to just be playing again and feeling that energy again,” says the band. “What we’ve learned, too, is that things can be taken away from you. So, now that we get to come back and play shows, we do not take it for granted.”
Whale and the Wolf’s catchy, high-energy brand of rock has been described as “hard pop,” a term they feel encompasses their songwriting when faced with the challenge of trying to fit their larger-than-life sound into a box.
“If you’re going to stick the different pieces of what the band does in the boxes like the music is alternative, but then vocally and melodically what we’re doing is very pop-savvy and accessible in that way. We think bringing those together creates a sound that is hard to place in any genre, which is actually a bit of a struggle,” they explain. “But we think that what it allows for is when you see us live or when you do listen to us, you’re not gonna get bored because every song seems to have a different vibe to it. And we’re not trying to curate that. We’re letting it happen organically.”
All these elements became clear as soon as Whale and the Wolf took to the stage. With a slight edge to their catchy and anthemic choruses, it was easy for the crowd to get hooked and sing along immediately. Their on-stage energy paired with music that just makes you want to dance made it a night to remember.